Do you come across as confident? Are you sure? - SmartBrief

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Do you come across as confident? Are you sure?

2 min read


This post is by Kurt W. Mortensen, author of “The Laws of Charisma” and several other books on persuasion, motivation and influence.

Confidence increases influence and attracts people to you. It breeds trust. The people we admire and look up to the most are usually those that know what they want and have the confidence to get it. Such confidence is conveyed via tone of voice, body language and other subconscious triggers, and leaders must learn to communicate with great confidence and authority.

But there is a fine line between being confident and arrogant. Complicating things further, how you think you come across and how others actually perceive you are usually two completely different things.

How can you tell the difference between confidence and cockiness? It’s mostly about your intention. Confidence is motivated by a sincere desire to help others and make a difference. True confidence comes from knowing that you have the tools, resources and ability to do the job that’s expected of you.

In contrast, cockiness is driven by a need to help yourself. Deep down, cockiness actually reveals insecurity — the very opposite of confidence.  Arrogant individuals seek approval and recognition for all the wrong reasons and in all the wrong ways. Arrogance is self-centered, whereas confidence is people-centered. Arrogance is about you and confidence is about them. And if your focus is off, it simply doesn’t matter if you say and do all the right things.

Here are five simple steps to help you avoid slipping into arrogance:

  • Always take feedback or criticism with an open heart.
  • Spend more time listening then talking.
  • Be able to admit that you were wrong.
  • Ask questions to demonstrate concern.
  • Have someone else explain why you are credible.

Image credit, DianaLundin, via iStock